Hentges Heating Up
Four-star prospect Hale Hentges has been a key part of Helias High School's playoff run in 2013. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound junior from Jefferson City, MO has been a standout at the tight end position. Just don't tell him he's viewed by many as a defensive player. "I feel it's gone really well," he said of the Crusaders' season. "My blocking, I feel, has gotten a lot better. I've made some really good plays in the receiving game. I've done the best I can to try and improve myself." "I'd rather play offense, in all honesty," he said of where he might line up as a collegian. "I play probably 50-percent in the slot, like in the spread. And the other 50, I'm on the line. Small amount of times, I'll be sent in motion to block, or flex out at the X or Z. I play a lot of positions on the field." The 2015 prospect knows the responsibility that comes with playing so many roles. He believes that's part of being team captain. "I like to embrace the challenge," he said with a smile. "My coaches give me all the flexibility that I want. There are times where the call, and, where the play will go, is totally up to me. If I think I can get the first down, we throw a quick pass to me. I'll communicate that down to the whole line. There is a lot of added pressure, but I look forward to that." Hentges already holds offers from nine Division 1 programs, with names like Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin among them. Though he's over a year away from signing his Letter of Intent, two schools already stand out. "I've probably heard the most from Tennessee and Arkansas," he said, nodding. "They are really getting after it the most. The others are after me hard too, but I think Tennessee and Arkansas are really trying." The talented two-way prospect was quick to point out his conference preference. "The best football, and the best competition, is in the SEC. I also really like the Big 10, and the pro-style they run there. I'd be open to playing in any conference, but the SEC and Big 10 are the most appealing." Asked about the in-state Tigers, currently ranked eighth in the nation and a favorite by many to win the SEC East, Hentges made it clear Missouri has his attention. "Missouri is in the hunt," he said of the 9-1 Tigers. "We've been watching how they are using their tight ends. I know they've got some good receivers that are just killing it right now, like Marcus Lucas and Dorial Green-Beckham, but they are definitely still in the hunt." Despite his interest in the SEC and Big 10, a suitor from the ACC has caught his eye. As Florida State chases a shot at the National Championship, Hentges hopes their interest in him leads to an offer. "I'm going to try to get down to Florida State in the spring," he said of the Seminoles. "We sent them my tape in the spring, and they keep recruiting me and sending me letters. That was before Jameis Winston exploded, so it's been even sweeter since they've been doing so well." "They haven't offered me yet, but hopefully, after the season, they will come around and offer me."
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